The Devil Wears Prada

Film
DRESS TO EMPRESS Coat dumping is the privilege of the elite Streep.
DRESS TO EMPRESS Coat dumping is the privilege of the elite Streep.

Time Out says

Anyone who has worked for a fashion magazine, which I did for two years as a copy editor at a Cond Nast publication, will readily recognize the particular pathology of Runway—which, rumor has it, Lauren Weisberger based on her experience working at Vogue for her wildy popular book The Devil Wears Prada. I had a cup of water thrown on me by the managing editor, listened to skeletal beauty editors squawk incessantly about their planned liposuction and deflected withering stares of dismissal from the meanest of Mean Girls wearing Christian Lacroix.

Frankel’s film gets this culture of humiliation exactly right, with a particular coup in Meryl Streep’s performance as Miranda Priestly, the Herms-draped, diabolically sadistic editor-in-chief of Runway who torments new assistant Andy Sachs (Hathaway), prone to wearing poly-cotton sweaters and prating about past journalistic achievements at Northwestern. Delivering Priestly’s most vicious remarks in a honeyed sotto voce, Streep perfectly conveys the raging narcissism of a killer in haute couture. The film teeters on its spiky Jimmy Choo heels, however, when it shifts from the wicked roman clef material to the bland bildungsroman. Stockholm syndrome sets in: Andy shakes hands with the devil after her first trip to the fashion closet. Soon, however, Satan’s minion realizes she’d rather go back to her frumptastic life than hobnob in Paris during Fashion Week. But why should we care? To paraphrase Lillian Hellman, we should not have to cut our fashion movie to fit this year’s conscience. (Opens Fri; click here for listings) — Melissa Anderson

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